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Despite Struggles, Jameis Winston Supports Two Fantasy-Relevant Receivers

The Bucs stumbled to a 1-3 start under Bruce Arians behind shaky play from Jameis Winston. Overall, Tampa Bay produced mixed results for fantasy gamers. Winston showed his volatility so far, posting two games with fewer than 15 fantasy points before exploding for 29.50 against the Giants.

But despite his struggles with accuracy and turnovers, he’s supporting two top-20 fantasy wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Evans burst back to life in Week 3 by posting an 8-190-3 line to claim the overall No. 1 fantasy finish with 45 points. Godwin notched a quiet game against the Giants (3-40-0) but has two TDs of his own and is averaging 15.3 YPR. Those expecting him to surpass Evans and claim the team’s WR1 throne will have to wait. Evans has posted at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his previous five NFL seasons.

The blame for the slow start falls on Winston’s shoulders. His QB rating (85.5) ranks No. 24 and he’s thrown five TDs and four INTs. His 60.2 completion percentage is lower than his career average (61.5). All of the troubles that have plagued Winston didn’t just magically disappear under Arians’ tutelage. He’s the exact same turnover-prone QB who makes bad decisions and possesses questionable leadership skills. Currently ranked as fantasy football’s QB18 – one spot behind rookie Gardner Minshew – Winston finds himself on the waiver wire in more than half of ESPN leagues.

After losing a fumble in Week 1 and posting a bagel in Week 2, O.J. Howard showed signs of life by catching 3-of-4 targets for 66 yards. He adds another dimension to Tampa Bay’s passing attack, but his usage is concerning.

Bucs Get Ground Game Going

One pleasant surprise for the Bucs? Their run game. They rank in the top-10 for attempts (89), yards (365) and yards per game (121.7). The unit averages 4.1 YPC but only has one TD to show for it. Ronald Jones looks primed to change that. The second-year pro is pushing incumbent Peyton Barber for the lead role. Jones leads the team in rush yards (164), scored the only rush TD and his 5.3 YPC average roasts Barber’s (3.7). He’s also broke two plays of 20-plus yards, something Barber hasn’t shown a proficiency for.

This backfield is Jones for the taking, and he makes a screaming add if he’s available. If not, his buy-low window is still open in redraft leagues. Go get him now.

Air Raid

• After failing to throw a TD and scoring a combined 14.82 fantasy points in his first two games Mitchell Trubisky exploded for three TDS. Taylor Gabriel caught all three of them (6-75-3) on seven targets.

• In PPR formats, Keenan Allen’s 87.7 fantasy points top the leaderboard. Allen leads the league in targets (42), receptions (29), receiving yards (404) and yards per game (134.7), and is tied for third with three receiving TDs.

• Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton, and Amari Cooper all have four TDs, tied for the league lead.

• Evan Engram leads all TEs with 62.7 PPR points and 30 targets.

• Displaying great hands, Darren Waller’s 89.7 catch percentage ranks first among TEs. He leads the Raiders in receiving yards (267) and targets (29).

• Among players with 10-plus receptions, John Ross leads the league in YPR (22.5). Remove that qualifier and the high marks belong to rookies Mecole Hardman (26.3) and DK Metcalf (24.1).

• Austin Ekeler ranks first in the NFL in yards after the catch (226) and averages a robust 10.9 YPR, the best mark among RBs.

• D.J. Moore made the most of his lone catch: a 52-yard receiving TD from backup Kyle Allen.

• Allen targeted Moore twice, while Curtis Samuel and Greg Olsen each saw seven targets.

• The Panthers ruled Cam Newton out for Week 4 with a Lisfranc injury, ensuring Allen gets the start. Newton is expected to miss significant time.

• No Jets WR can be trusted with Luke Falk under center. He completed 12 of 22 passes for one pick, no TDs, and an uninspiring 4.5 YPA.

Run Down

• In 2018 from Weeks 1-3, Todd Gurley ranked No. 2 among RBs in PPR formats with 80.6 points. His total this season in that span: 31.1.

• 2018 Gurley averaged 24 touches per game through three weeks; 2019 Gurley averages 16 touches per game.

• Through three games in standard scoring, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey and Mark Ingram are the only RBs in the top-12 in fantasy points. The rest are occupied by QBs, led by Patrick Mahomes at No. 1 (86.8), and New England’s D/ST at No. 12 (61.0).

• Darrel Williams, not Darwin Thompson, saw an expanded role in the KC backfield with Damien Williams sidelined. Darrell led the Chiefs with nine carries for 62 yards (6.8 YPC) and caught five passed for another 47 yards. He’s a priority free-agent add if he’s available.

• LeSean McCoy’s split with Williams (11 touches to 14) was near even, but McCoy found paydirt.

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